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I wanted to share some information to your readers, most of them living in the coastal zone on the Rockaway Peninsula, about the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. The Secretary of Commerce approved of New York State Coastal Management Program (CMP) and New York City’s Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) in 1982 as part of the Coastal Zone Management Act requiring coastal states to develop and implement coastal management programs that concur with federal law. A requirement of these approvals is that “…the text of the City Zoning Resolution and Building Code should be revised as necessary to further reflect waterfront revitalization policies, guidelines and standards.” These changes are to become an amendment to New York City’s Waterfront Revitalization Program.

To date there have been no revisions to the zoning and building code that reflect the guidelines and standards of the 10 WRP Policies. New York City Department of Buildings issued permits and the Department of City Planning approved new developments within our bungalow development of Beach 24th through 26th Streets that do not comply with the WRP Policy 8 that preserve existing easements on privately and public streets. Also, the Duane Reade Drugstore obstructs Beach 116th, a mapped public street that was used as access to Jamaica Bay and a pier, while the Arverne by the Sea development eliminated 46 pubic mapped streets that houses were built upon.

Also the guidelines and standards of WRP Policy 10 is to “Protect, preserve and enhance resources significant to the historical, archaeological, and cultural legacy of the New York City coastal area. Archaeological sites and historic structures are tangible links to the past generations, events and cultures associated with New York City’s coastal area. All projects need to comply with national, state, and local laws and regulations regarding designated historical resources, specifically New York City Administrative Code §25-303, Landmarks Law.

Policy 10 applies not only to the bungalow development but coastal communities because they have an historical and cultural legacy to the coastal area of New York.

What is also interesting is that the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) is also required to adhere to the WRP policies and cannot approve variances for new development that would be out of character with the existing neighborhood.

The Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association is concerned that in order to avoid any more approvals of development that do not comply with the WRP Policies the revisions to the waterfront zoning and building code as outline above should be made ASAP.

The principal purpose of the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act is to accomplish a public purpose authorized by this statute. Individual’s public and private can participate in this program and either write to the Secretary of Commerce who administers the coastal management programs or your Congressional Representative to have the revisions made to the zoning and building code. (Richard George is President of the Beach Bungalow Preservation Association)

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